01:19 GMT +319 October 2017
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    Saudi Arabia's King Salman. (File)

    Expanding Ties: What's Behind Saudi King's Visit to Tokyo

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    Saudi Arabia's King Salman paid an official visit to Japan to discuss the prospects of economic and political cooperation between the two countries. In an interview with Sputnik Arabic, Saudi experts commented on the reasons behind King Salman's meeting with Tokyo authorities.

    Head of the economic and energy committee of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council Abdel Rahman al Rashidi told Sputnik that his country shows great interest in investments from abroad.

    According to the recently announced plan on the development of the Saudi economy until 2030, the country seeks an increase in Japanese and Malaysian investments in the fields of energy and water distillation technologies.

    These countries previously invested in the Saudi economy, but in the next decade the Kingdom plans to expand production and investment spheres. This is why Saudi leaders seek closer cooperation with the two countries in these areas.

    According to al Rashidi, Saudi Arabia particularly wants to attract Japanese investors to the privatization of state-owned companies, as well as its service sector.

    In his turn, the head of the Saudi Center for Strategic Studies, Anwar Ishki, told Sputnik Arabic that Saudi Arabia views Japan as its main partner when it comes to reorienting the Saudi economy from oil production to manufacturing and high technologies. Japan, on the other hand, needs oil and minerals that Saudi Arabia can offer.

    Saudi authorities hope that such cooperation will give an impetus to the development of the Kingdom, the expert stressed. Tokyo and Riyadh have already established a joint private bank.

    The main topic of King Salman's visit to Tokyo is expected to be economic cooperation. The countries also plan to discuss political issues, in particular, the fight against terrorism.

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    official visit, cooperation, King Salman, Japan, Saudi Arabia
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